What to Know Now
It’s been a troublesome week for travelers with business in the EU or the UK, as Britain formalizes its plan to leave the bloc. With news of the formal Brexit, UK airlines and hotels took a tumble in step with the British pound, while airlines including British Airways slashed futures.
The immediate financial impact, of course, is only the beginning of the long term problems as companies and travelers alike consider the future of trade, visas and the flow of business across the continent. Already, HSBC plans to move 1,000 jobs out of the UK and into Paris while others have started a hiring freeze.
The good news is that the British pound is at a remarkable low against the dollar, so tomorrow’s business trip or vacation will be the cheapest in years.
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In theory it sounds cheaper. In reality what you will see is hotels and such increasing rates to make up for the drop in the pound. We saw it with the drop in the Euro. All of these travel related companies tie their pricing to make up for currency drops.
Aeromexico Exits Venezuela Amid Economic Turmoil: Mexico’s largest airline says it has indefinitely suspended flights to Venezuela’s capital due to the complicated economic situation in the South American nation. Read more at Skift
Southwest Airlines Says it Won’t Use New Technology to Upsell Passengers: Southwest Airlines is watching as its competitors begin to more carefully segment customers, allotting perks based on how much passengers paid, but it does not plan to copy American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Air Lines, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said Thursday. Read more at Skift
United and its Flight Attendants Finally Close in on New Contract: For the first time since Continental Airlines and United Airlines merged in 2010, United’s flight attendants could soon work under the same labor contract, allowing all to work on each of the carrier’s flights. Read more at Skift
Why TSA PreCheck Doesn’t Always Work for Trusted Travelers: Thousands of fliers enrolled in trusted traveler programs such as PreCheck aren’t getting the expedited screening they paid for because of clerical errors with their reservations. Read more at Skift
Clear gets a second wind: Longer PreCheck lines and a big new investor are breathing new life into Clear, the biometric-based trusted traveler membership program that lets travelers go directly into the TSA screening process. Read more at TravelSkills.com
With Ambitions to Become Europe’s Largest Hub, Frankfurt Airport Will Spend $113 Million on a Makeover: Frankfurt Airport is investing 100 million euros ($113 million) in a series of upgrades that includes yoga rooms, playgrounds and a forest-like recreation area to make passengers more comfortable and hence more willing to spend money at the shops. Read more at Skift
More Flyers Are Paying Up to Skip Long Airport Security Lines: The next time you’re stuck in a long security line, consider this: At most U.S. airports it’s possible to buy your way out of the wait. Read more at Skift
Lyft’s $27 Million Deal to Make Drivers Independent Contractors is One Step Closer to Approval: Lyft Inc. moved a big step closer to sealing a $27 million deal with drivers that leaves them classified as independent contractors. Read more at Skift
Riders Must Beware the Fine Print When Taking Uber and Lyft: Under terms and conditions that riders agree to — but few read — at sign up, the app-based ride-hailing companies say they aren’t legally liable for the safety of their drivers or the quality of their services. That’s because the drivers are independent contractors, not employees. Read more at Skift
Uber Will Soon Display the Exact Fare Before Your Ride Begins: Uber’s model of charging ‘surge’ pricing during peak times is no stranger to controversy, but soon the rideshare giant will bring more clarity to the way it charges customers for rides. Read more at The Points Guy
24 Years in The Making, Switzerland Opens World’s Longest Train Tunnel: Switzerland opened the world’s longest train tunnel this month cutting travel time between southern Germany and northern Italy by one hour. Read more at Skift
Following Brexit Vote, Hotel Stocks Plummet: Hotel shares fell after U.K. voters decided in a referendum to leave the European Union, raising concern about future employment costs in the British lodging industry, which relies on workers from outside the country. Read more at Skift
Best Western CEO on Airbnb, Direct Bookings and Virtual Reality: Best Western CEO David Kong isn’t afraid to speak his mind when it comes to fundamental issues impacting the overall travel and hospitality industry. Read more at Skift
Following Marriott’s Lead, Starwood’s Aloft Pilots an In-Room Streaming Service: Starwood’s tech-forward select-service brand, Aloft Hotels, is following in its soon-to-be-parent company’s footsteps with its newest pilot program. Read more at Skift
Skift is looking for experienced freelance analysts to help grow our flagship travel market and industry intelligence portal Skift Trends. Read more from Luke Burjarski, our head of research, here.
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Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin